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O2 ABC2, Glasgow
19th March 2015

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


I have complained bitterly before about gigs in Glasgow starting early due to venue curfews and tonight was another example. Advertised as doors open 7.00pm I got there at 7.30pm to find Finnish glam rockers Santa Cruz just finishing. Sorry I missed you guys, next time!

Next band up were Engel from Sweden. Purveyors of melodic death influenced Metal with some industrial touches thrown in, they had a ropey start when the samples for the intro failed. However I was impressed that they didn't let it affect them in any way and they were soon powering along in confident fashion.

Touring in support of their new album 'Raven Kings' they are an experienced touring band and it showed. Very tight and together they know what they are doing and singer Mikael Sehlin is happy to work the crowd who respond back in kind. The whole place was pretty much grooving to Engel's mighty riffing but personally I couldn't really get into it.

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Growling vocals are at best a style I put up with rather than enjoy and for me these honest Swedish Metallers didn't have enough else going for me to really enjoy them. Good at what they do, they went down really well tonight so don't worry guys it's not you, it's me!

Amaranthe were playing their first ever gig in Scotland so it was good to see a respectable turn out for this Swedish/Danish hybrid Metal band. For the uninitiated they are not only a hybrid due to the nationalities in the band but because they mix Metal, death Metal growls, clean male and female vocals and samples and Eurodance beats. Yes, dance beats in Metal! Dismissed by some as pop Metal they have persevered with their strange but fascinating style and are now touring in support of their third album 'Massive Addictive'.


Live Amaranthe certainly don't lack energy or presence and they launch straight into their set with little preamble. The guitar, bass and drums provide a meaty backdrop, the samples add that pumping beat and the three singers take turns at the front. Henrick Englund prowls the stage menacingly adding his growls to the sound while Jake E has a strong melodic voice carrying a more melodic vibe.

The most impressive singer of the three is the captivating Elize Ryd who is not only good to look at but has a really impressive, strong vocal talent. This is a strange set up indeed but all the band members are obviously enjoying themselves, especially once they see from second song 'Hunger' onwards that their audience is fully up for a party and totally behind every note.

It doesn't seem to matter tonight whether the songs played are from the latest album or old favourites, this is one of those Glasgow audiences who have decided that this band is for them and they sing, scream, bounce up and down and headbang to everything thrown at them. The band respond in kind and can't really take the big smiles off their faces all night.


'Invincible' is frantic and heavy and has one of many fine solos on the night from white haired guitarist Olof Morck. Yet it still has a poppy chorus and '1.000.000 Lightyears' has another one which really lets the lady of the band show her range. That stuttering riff is undeniably Metal though.

'Electroheart' is more dancey in nature but not unlike Within Temptation's recent direction in style. It is really just electronica meets Metal with a chorus you can remember. Plus three singers so you never get bored at any point!


The pace of the show doesn't really slow down until it's drum solo time. Mercifully short I could have done with out it but maybe Morton Lowe Sorenson feels like he has to prove it's not just the electronics providing those powerful beats. Ballad 'Amaranthine' is a more successful attempt at a change of pace and you can see that Elize Ryd is genuinely touched by the volume of the audience sing along at the introduction. Soon the pace is back up again for a set closer in the pounding Metal beats of 'Call Out My Name'.

Encores are inevitable and include lead track from their new album 'Drop Dead Cynical'. If you want to hear what Amaranthe's sound is all about this is the track to check out. It's an irresistible slice of bonkers metal meets europop with a great riff matched to thumping big beats. This was a highlight of the show for me and many of the crowd and the chosen final song 'The Nexus' doesn't quite hit the same heights.

Amaranthe are certainly an acquired taste and will surely suffer some snobbery from some of the fashion conscious and close minded elements within the UK Metal scene. However this was a really good show and was so warmly received it shows there is an audience here for their unique take on Metal. I hope they keep coming back and I get to see them in bigger venues, they deserve that.








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